Diffraction photograph of the B form of DNA, Rosalind Franklin, May 1952
Sometimes the images are a record of an event or thing, absent in the image, which must then be inferred by the most reasonable explanation. And since “the most reasonable explanation” is a qualitative category, there are sometimes several possible entities that a trail might infer. The trail here infers a double helix structure for DNA, not only the most reasonable explanation of the pattern displayed, but the most reasonable inference for the internal patterns of living things on earth. And yes, Rosalind Franklin knew what she had found, she wasn’t blindly recording weird images for others to interpret. The only reason she did not receive the Nobel Prize for Medicine with Crick, Watson and Wilkins in 1962 is that she died of cancer a few years after this photo was taken (at only age 37), and Nobels aren’t awarded to the deceased.
(posted by Peggy Nelson/@otolythe)